Chevy Bolt, Pacifica Hybrid Among 2018 Wards 10 Best “Engines”

Red Chevrolet Bolt EV


Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

WardsAuto notes that four of its 10 Best Engine winners feature electrification, and let’s not forget to mention that one winner doesn’t even have an engine.

Over the course of October and November of 2017, Wards editors pored over a total of 32 “engines” via a whole bunch of commuting miles and testing in the metro Detroit area. This year marks the publication’s 24th installment of its coveted Wards 10 Best Engines designations. WardsAuto senior content director, Drew Winter, admits:

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

“And we certainly didn’t set out to find four electrified drivetrains to honor this year. These four belong on our list because they are extremely efficient while at the same time fun to drive.”

The Fab Four that Winter is referring to include the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Honda Clarity FCV, and Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Of the four, the Bolt comes as the biggest surprise since it has no engine at all. Instead, power is delivered compliments of a 150-kW electric propulsion system. The Pacifica Hybrid –with its 3.6-liter Atkinson-cycle DOHC V6 and two electric motors — comes as no surprise since it was a winner last year. However, it’s one of only two returning champions. The Honda Clarity gets kudos from Wards for its advanced technology. Had the PHEV version been available sooner, we can deduce that it may have also made the cut.

Last year, the Chevrolet Volt made the list. It wasn’t the Volt’s first appearance, however. The first-gen Volt was a champion in 2011, and the second-gen powertrain took home a win two years in a year; 2016 and 2017. Now that the Volt’s stablemate, the Chevrolet Bolt, has arrived, it’s taking precedence.

The Honda Clarity, currently only offered as a fuel cell vehicle, will also be offered as a plug-in electric vehicle in 2018

Wards reminds us that the Bolt wasn’t available soon enough last year to undergo testing, but “it was worth the wait to run the zero-emission compact car through our real-world gauntlet this past fall.” Wards continues:

“We now know the Bolt, available in dealerships in all 50 states, is an affordable, world-changing vehicle that delivers on the promise of electric mobility for the masses. It is quick and smartly designed, and its official range of a groundbreaking 238 miles (383 km) makes it attractive to a much wider audience, particularly those who want to do right by the environment.”

In regards to the Pacifica Hybrid, Wards loves the versatility of a seven-seat minivan full of “bells and whistles.” Test drivers were able to net about 35 mpg from the huge vehicle as long as they kept it charged up. The 33 miles of all-electric range should easily suffice for most minivan drivers that tend to cart kids around and run errands. However, the PHEV powertrain is a lifesaver for the occasional long trip.

Source: WardsAuto

Categories: Chevrolet, Chrysler

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13 Comments on "Chevy Bolt, Pacifica Hybrid Among 2018 Wards 10 Best “Engines”"

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I wouldn’t think that the Honda Clarity FCV has an engine, either. Which is all good; engines pollute.

Cool to see an electric motor amongst the Top Ten Engines. Early days, but this is going to continue to be interesting, these next 5 years. The avalanche of new vehicles has started, but it is going to grow over the next several years. Tesla, GM and Nissan have the ability to weather the storm of losing the tax credit. Plus Ford, BMW, Toyota and Fiat/Chrysler, are building vehicles with some degree of electrification which they can build upon going forward.
Lowering the price is crucial, then improving charging speed and charger availability while supplying electric drive trains in more vehicle types with steadily improving range. Not much to ask for…

They need to change the name of this award, to “10 Best Drivetrains”.

I agree. Wards may get the clue to change the name when the majority of the winners have electrified drive trains either assisting or entirely replacing the combustion engine. Currently electric is batting 400. Could hit it out of the park as early as next year.

WM: engine – “a machine for converting any of various forms of energy into mechanical force and motion”. So an electric motor meets the definition of engine.

This point kind of reminds me of the repeated, rather heated, discussions about whether the Volt is an electric vehicle or not. I can see both sides, but I tend to side with inclusion rather than exclusion.
I think the fact is that a motor is a form of engine and logically belongs under that title in the Wards list. Drivetrain is too inclusive, though. It includes parts like the CVT/transmission.

They should keep it as engines. The internet would get boring fast without semantics arguments.

I wonder what they are going to say about the new Tesla Roadster engine when it comes out. Silent, vibration free and accelerates like a rocket!

The Tesla Roadster will likely not be eligible due to cost.

Per Tom Murphy at Wards Auto (in the article comments section):

“Price cap this year was $63,000 base MSRP, and that includes destination charges.”

Pacifica Hybrid is a PHEV with more battery (16KWh) in it, than just about anything else coming out of Europe (accept maybe i3 REx). More lithium goodness than the latest 7-series or Panamera.

Well deserved.

I just acquired a Bolt and couldn’t be happier. It’s not luxury car, but it does almost everything right. In sport mode, it’s more fun than either the i3 or X. And finally, CarPlay!

“It’s not luxury car” while still has a typo is the MOST accurate thing you’ve said…

Since “sport mode” only really adjusts what’s known in the ICE world as “Part throttle”, the WOT (Wide Open Throttle) isn’t any different, Bolt EV will still give you the same 0-60 if you floor it regardless of mode…Supposedly driving the Bolt EV in L AND using the regen paddle (which effectively changes it from “one pedal driving” to “two step, pedal plus paddle driving” has more regen than the X or i3…

Some people (including my wife) like the shorter pedal travel that sport/power modes have.